respectfully titled after Ottessa Moshfegh

I don’t try to relate. There’s no use. There are billions of brilliant minds and then there’s mine, which isn’t brilliant nor dull, but somewhere adrift in the dusky in-between. I’m too much of everything and too little of what actually matters. Too much emotion, too little control of it. Too much panic, too little reason for it. In the company of others, I feel almost alien, as if I possess a quality still unknown to me that repels, that turns heads the other direction out of terror. Like the part of the horror movie before the jump scare, before the killer finds the sleeping starlet talking in her sleep. I’m bug-eyed and awkward and better alone. I’m uncomfortable in togetherness, unstable in love, nervous no matter whose arms I rest in. In another life I can breathe. I can let peace just be peace, love just be love. I can hold your hand without tensing up when you loosen your grip. I can speak loud enough for your friends to hear me, can order my own food at the restaurant, can small-talk any stranger. And I’m jealous of the other kinds of minds—minds that would not willingly choose death over being known—jealous of the souls that sparkle without dreading the burden of being seen. I love cold wind that numbs the fingertips and the corner of bustling train stations perfect for poetry and being comfortably alone with you. I love indoor cats observing passersby through the windows of my suburban universe and kitschy beach boardwalk shops with the terribly sexist T-shirts and squeezing your hand in the passenger seat. I love that you love me in spite of my fear of being loved. And that you stay with me, when I’m choking on air, and my mind becomes a haunted house, and I’m weeping in the spare room of your family beach house because the world is too loud for my liking, and I’m one breakdown away from a hospital stay. That you choose me, that you choose me, that you choose me—when I’m homesick for another world but this is the only one that we’ll ever know.

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